Saving money before having a full time job or a career can sometimes be frustrating and stressful. However, by taking time to make a few short changes to your money-saving routine, you could be well on your way to saving money before your career!

1.  Keep track of your spending.
Use a check register aka your checkbook table or use a spreadsheet. This may sound a little old school, but it’s a sure way to know exactly how much you have spent at any given time. It’s also a good way to consciously know how much you can spend and how much you have saved. Take the time to record each purchase, withdrawal, and expense. This could save you in the long run!

2. Use Cash
Instead of running a large credit card bill each month, try using cash. This way, when you run out of cash, you can’t spend any more.

3. Budget, Budget, Budget
Split your money in to thirds. Get third to save, a third to spend, and a third for bills/dues. Portion out your money on a spreadsheet or document and tape it up to your wall. The visibility of your budget will remind you of your spending/saving budget.

4. Have a Goal in Mind
“This week I will save an extra $30 in my account.” With a money-conscious goal for saving money, you have something to stick with and work towards. Make sure your goal is attainable for your budget and it’s something you can achieve. You’ll feel so accomplished reaching your goal and want to beat it the next time!

5. Savvy-Shopping
Limit yourself to one or two big purchases a month. That purse you really wanted? Save up your money and make the purchase! For other things you want to buy, look for sales or coupons. Have a clothing swap with friends or head to a second hand store such as Plato’s Closet. The clothes may not be brand new, but you will probably be able to find some clothes for a fraction of the price you normally would pay for them. And besides, you were only going to wear that blouse a few times, right?!

6. Use a Piggy-Bank
Have a cute piggy bank? Make it a habit to dump all your loose change into the bank each day. Watch as your loose change adds up. When the bank is full, take it to a Coinstar or bank to exchange for cash. Voila!

7. Dinner Out?!
Yes! Go ahead and spend the money on a dinner with friends! When you’re looking at the menu, choose meals which are on the cheaper side, and stick to water with your meal. You’re saving the $2.50 on a fountain drink or soda and that adds up! This works the same way as buying coffee each week from your favorite coffee vendor. If you have a coffee-addiction, {try to} limit yourself to one or two drinks a week, or better yet, try to make some of the drinks at home! A Starbucks drink can range up to $5, and totaled up, each week that could be a pretty penny. Think of the money you could save!

8. Rewards Programs
If you are still interested in having coffee each week, try a rewards program. Rewards programs are actually more common than you may think. Smaller boutiques and even larger chains have reward systems which could really benefit you in the long run. For instance, use Cartwheel at Target, or Shopkick to gain Kick points to use later on for a gift card of your choice. Often, these reward programs will give you coupons as well.

Money saving doesn’t have to be stressful. By taking steps to save money, you are becoming more money-conscious! Have any money-saving tips?

Leave your answers in the comments below!

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